Update: Chipotle Settles with 100 Food Poisoning Victims
September 12, 2016 – Chipotle has reached a settlement with over 100 customers who were sickened in multiple food poisoning outbreaks last year, according to Fortune. Resolving the claims out of court means the company won’t have to face allegations in what would have likely been a series of highly-publicized food safety trials. Specific terms of the settlements have not been made public.
What’s the problem?
At least 52 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli 026, with 43 patients saying they ate at Chipotle before getting sick, according to the CDC. The agency said illnesses started on dates ranging from Oct. 19 thru Nov. 8, and that cases which took place after Oct. 31 may not have been reported yet.
The first cases were reported in Oregon and Washington, and more recently in Minnesota, California, New York and Ohio. The exact cause of the outbreak has not been determined; however, investigators believe produce or another perishable item may be to blame.
Chipotle closed 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington late last month after it was determined that most of the people sickened in the outbreak had eaten at those locations. The restaurants reopened last week after the company replaced food and deep-cleaned the facilities.
New Chipotle Food Poisoning Allegations Raised in New York
July 8, 2016 – Eric Van Lustbader — the author who took over the Bourne series after Robert Ludlum — Tweeted yesterday that his had editor became violently ill after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Manhattan, saying she’d spent 7 hours in the ER from dehydration. In response to the Tweet, the company’s stock fell more than 3% over the day, according to Business Insider.
Chipotle Shareholders Lawsuit Filed Alleging Insider Trading, ‘Corrupt Stock Incentive Plan’
June 20, 2016 – Shareholders have filed a lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. alleging that top executives acted recklessly and committed insider trading, according to Colorado Public Radio. The suit, which was filed in Denver District Court, claims that under a “corrupt stock incentive plan,” top Chipotle management “dealt themselves excessive compensation worth hundreds of millions of dollars.” Chipotle, along with the company’s co-CEOs Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran, and several other top executives were named as defendants in the case.
Food Poisoning Outbreaks Could Cost Chipotle 3 Years’ Earnings
April 14, 2016 – The ongoing food safety crisis plaguing Chipotle Mexican Grill could cost the company 3 full years of earnings growth, according to a research note issued last week by J.P. Morgan. On an earnings basis, the analysts said they have similar per-share estimates for fiscal year 2017, at $13.90, as the fiscal year 2014 results of $14.13. This indicates a loss of 3 years worth of earnings, according to the analysts, which comes despite the expected addition of 653 restaurants by the end of next year.
Chipotle Cancels Executive Compensation Packages After Food Poisoning Outbreaks
March 15, 2016 – Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has suspended its executive bonuses for 2015 due to an ongoing food poisoning crisis that has severely impacted the company’s value and reputation, according to Business Finance News. In addition to the cancelled bonuses, the pay packages of Chipotle’s co-chief executives Steve Ells and Monty Moran have been reduced. Ells’s pay incentives have fallen 52% from $28.9 million in 2014 to $13.8 million in 2015. Moran was also hit with a significant decrease in his total compensation, from $28.1 million to $13.6 million.
Chipotle ‘Confident’ it can Stop Outbreaks
January 14, 2016 – Executives at Chipotle Mexican Grill announced this week they are confident that steps they are taking to tighten food safety will prevent future food poisoning outbreaks, according to Reuters. The company, which prides itself on serving fresher, less-processed food, is struggling to overcome a series of outbreaks that have driven away customers, sent its stock plummeting and spawned both a federal criminal investigation and a shareholder lawsuit.
Criminal Investigation into Norovirus Outbreak
January 6, 2016 – Chipotle disclosed in a corporate filing this week that it is the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California. “The subpoena requires us to produce a broad range of documents related to a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California, that experienced an isolated norovirus incident during August 2015,” the document reads. Click here to learn more.
Chipotle Introduces Program to Prevent Food Poisoning Outbreaks
January 6, 2016 – Chipotle is introducing a new food safety program in response to a rash of food poisoning outbreaks that have driven customers away. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday showed that nearly a quarter of Americans who have heard of the outbreaks are eating less at the Mexican chain’s more than 1,900 locations. But the company says its new safety program will put it “at the forefront of food safety practices” in the industry.
Chipotle Linked to Another Multi-State E. coli outbreak
January 4, 2016 – At least 5 more people have fallen ill after eating at Chipotle, in what appears to be the latest food poisoning outbreak to be linked to the company. The CDC said that the FDA had conducted an investigation in this outbreak to trace the ingredient which was associated with the illness, however, the agency could not identify a common source of ingredient which was contaminated. Of the 5 people who got sick, 1 was from Kansas, 1 was from North Dakota and 3 were from Oklahoma.
Boston Chipotle Reopens After Food Poisoning Outbreak
December 30, 2015 – Chipotle Mexican Grill has reopened its Cleveland Circle location in Boston, which was shut down earlier this month after a norovirus outbreak sickened at least 136 customers, according to CBS News. The restaurant was originally closed Dec. 7 after dozens of people, including several members of the Boston College men’s basketball team, fell ill with similar symptoms nearly simultaneously. Health officials linked the outbreak to Chipotle after interviews showed the sick had all eaten at the restaurant shortly before the onset of symptoms.
Outbreak May Have Spread to Massachusetts
December 9, 2015 – The nationwide food poisoning outbreak linked to food served at Chipotle Mexican Grill may have spread to Massachusetts, where 28 people fell ill after eating at a single Boston-area restaurant, according to CBS News. News of the new infections spread when 8 Boston College basketball players missed a game Sunday due to food poisoning. Click here to learn more.
Food Poisoning Symptoms
E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Most of the time, it does not cause any problems. However, certain types (such as the outbreak 026 strain linked to the Chipotle food poisoning cases) can cause food poisoning. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden, severe diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramping
- Vomiting (rare)
Outbreak Highlights Growing Food Poisoning Epidemic
The Chipotle food poisoning cases highlight the growing risk posed by E. coli, which caused more outbreaks between 2003 and 2012 than in the previous 2 decades, according to a study published by the CDC in August 2015. The report identified at least 390 outbreaks linked to E.coli, including 4,928 illnesses, 1,272 hospitalizations and 33 deaths. Most of the cases (65%) were attributed to contaminated food, with beef and leafy vegetables combined comprising 25% of all reported E. coli outbreaks and over 40% of related illnesses.
Do I Have a Chipotle Class Action Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Chipotle lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new E. coli cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed E. coli symptoms after eating at a Chipotle restaurant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.